January 11, 2016-Another Great Race!
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Crew Happy (composite photo)
We had another good race yesterday; we won overall on corrected time and beat our class by over four minutes, a great finish: First in class and first overall.
We know we can't do that every time, but it is nice when we do. For those of you who want to read the nitty gritty details, read below.
Otherwise, we are working hard to figure out a solution to our rapidly deteriorating sails and that will certainly be expensive, and we'll keep you up to date on that, and we thought we'd share with you photos of our Christmas Dinner, which was fun.
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Fred & Judy SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle
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What a race!
It wasn't just a good race, it was a great race.
Like all the really great ones it started with a great start.
The line was short and the committee boat was favored and we came in on port looking for a spot but there wasn't one, just a crowd of other boats all barging on starboard and trying to find a spot up by the committee boat. We had to go onto starboard soon ourselves but I could see that if we tacked we'd be early. I told the crew "Jibing" and we jibed around to leeward of Nuevo Luna, the lead boat. When they looked at getting their bow under our quarter I ducked down and encouraged them to stay up, which they did, thankfully; that was the break we needed.
When they went for the line we came up under them.
Dick was counting down and he said 9 seconds. Nueva Luna was up on my hip going slow. I turned the boat down to gain some speed and stay away from the line and I saw the pin just ahead and then looked at Paul on the bow. He glanced at his watch and then down the line and I could clearly tell he didn't know where we were on the line. What to do?
Dick shouted GO! GO! I glanced over my shoulder and saw Nuevo Luna and three other boats between us and the committee boat and I knew we were safe; if we were early they couldn't see us. It was time to go and I turned for the line.
Somehow we poked our nose out in front of Nuevo Luna and I saw we were under their lee bow. I told Dick to grind in the main; I wanted to stuff some dirty air at them, and we used our speed to come up in front of them. It worked better than I hoped. We stuffed them up and they, in turn, dumped dirty air on the crowd to weather of them, which slowed the whole group, and then we bore off and went for speed.
So that was the start: in a couple of minutes we were clearly out in front and the whole pack was behind us and going slow and trying to get some air to breathe, but there wasn't any. I saw Olas Lindas, our real nemesis, way back and going nowhere. They tacked away.
We got to the weather mark first, easily, and turned for Punta Blanca, four miles away on starboard tack. The nearest boat was Bright Star, just astern, and then Olas Lindas who came out on our hip. We struggled to gain on Bright Star and Olas for a while and finally I said out loud, "I have to get the speed up, I am going to bear away until we hit 6 knots". The six knots came fast once I put the bow down and all of a sudden we started to point on Bright Star and foot on Olas Lindas. Magic! It was our wind.
There was a bunch of radio chatter about the next mark and its location and if it was even in place anymore but we stayed out of that conversation and Judy looked with the binoculars and I think we were the first boat to find it. It was deflated and was just a puddle of yellow in the water but anyhow we found it, rounded, and had a good set.
If we made any significant mistakes it was on that leg. I had the heading wrong and we sailed too high for half the leg. But as we got halfway down the leg and couldn't find the last mark Judy finally went below to check the chart.
"We're way above it, go down! " she said, which I did. So our course for that leg turned out to be a great circle route; very slow. Bright Star was way back but Olas Lindas was close and the extra we sailed distance allowed them gain. We held them off during the last half mile when we jibed twice to keep the speed up and they rounded the last mark about 30 seconds behind. Probably our mistake on that run prevented us from finishing ahead of them in the end but it didn't matter; they owed us six minutes and there was no way they could get that far ahead in the last mile and a half to the finish.
We jibed at the mark and then changed to the jib for the finish and came in one and a half minutes behind Olas Lindas, who were able to carry their kite all the way in.
So that was the win, we loved it.